Mahaffey Theater For The Performing Arts
400 First Street South, St. Petersburg, FL, USA
Seats (approximate): 1908
Located in the heart of beautiful Downtown St. Petersburg, the newly renovated Mahaffey Theater at the Progress Energy Center is a 2030-seat bayside cultural jewel featuring elegant ballroom space, spectacular waterfront views, and European box-style seating. Just minutes from white sandy beaches, world-famous museums, and enticing activities, the Theater serves the entire Bay Area, comprised of Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg. The facility first opened in the spring of 1965 as part of the Bayfront Center entertainment complex. It was first renovated in 1987-1988 and at that time was re-named the Mahaffey Theater, for a St. Petersburg family who contributed significantly to the capital campaign. Since its opening it has hosted a wide variety of events, including The Florida Orchestra Broadway performances, dance, popular music, family entertainment, and Class Acts, a program enabling school children to experience the performing arts through in-theater performances as well as in-school outreach programs. In 2004, after conducting both market analysis and feasibility studies, it was determined that the neighboring Bayfront Center Arena was no longer viable in the marketplace. The arena was demolished in December 2004, opening up space for the current Mahaffey Theater renovation. The $20 million project more than doubled lobby size, adding guest amenities while expanding ballroom capacity and versatility. The signature component of the renovated Theater is a three-story glass curtain wall and glass enclosed atrium that overlooks the City's beautiful downtown waterfront.